How does Diatomaceous Earth work?

◀ Back To Blog

Diatomaceous Earth, also referred to as DE, is used as a non-toxic pesticide that can control a variety of pests in and around the home. These include ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas, carpet beetles, centipedes, millipedes, silverfish, earwigs, scorpions, ticks, and box elder bugs. Unlike pesticides that kill pests using chemicals, DE kills pests physically. It works in a couple of ways. When pests crawl through DE, its particles abrade and puncture the tough, waxy layers that coat the exoskeleton of insects and pierce the soft bodies of other pests like slugs.

What is Diatomaceous Earth made from?

Diatomaceous Earth is derived from the fossilized shells of diatoms, which are microscopic algae that live in salt and fresh water and are among the most prolific and important aquatic organisms, serving as food for many animals. When diatoms die their tiny shells sink to the bottom where they can accumulate in huge deposits. Around the world such massive deposits have been found where ancient seas and lakes have receded. These diatom remains are mined; then they are crushed into coarse or fine particles, depending on their intended use.

How does diatomaceous earth work?

The pests’ body fluids leak out and within a short time this loss of fluid causes them to die of dehydration. Diatomaceous Earth can act internally, too. When pest eat DE, it absorbs the fluids in their bodies, also causing dehydration that kills them. For insecticide purposes, the diatom shells are pulverized into a dust so that it will easily cling to pest bodies. Diatomaceous Earth is deadly to pests because its minute dust particles are razor sharp and act like shards of broken glass, lacerating and piercing the pests’ bodies. The injuries become fatal as vital fluids drain out, and the pests quickly die.

Is diatomaceous earth toxic?

Despite its name, insecticidal Diatomaceous Earth does not resemble soil but is an odorless powder that feels much like talcum powder to human fingers. Because it is not poisonous, it is safe to handle, although prolonged exposure to it can dry the skin.

Because of its mode of action, DE offers important safety benefits and results. Diatomaceous Earth works in a mechanical rather than chemical way to kill pests, and it comes from a natural source that is not harmful to people. While the microscopic sharp fragments of DE are deadly to parasites, they are too small to hurt pets. If pets lick themselves after having DE applied to their fur and ingest some of it, the DE should not cause them any harm. Also, fly larvae do not tend to survive in animal droppings or manure treated with DE. Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic pesticide that is safe and easy to handle, use and store.

Diatomaceous Earth is effective in controlling many troublesome pests in and around homes while working in ways that do not endanger people and pets that live in them. Using nature’s ingredients, Thomas Pest Services can provide you with the security knowing the materials used in and around your property are derived from the environment. Green pest control services in Albany, NY and organic pest control in Saratoga, NY provide the Capital Region the perfect balance between getting rid of pests and at the same time protecting what matters most, your family, health, home and property. Choosing an effective pest management company in the Capital & Adirondack Regions is an easy decision when you choose Thomas Pest Services, just like choosing an effective, low risk option to rid your insect problems.


Tags: There are currently no tags associated with this article


Request Your Free Estimate

For Expedited Service Call (518) 458-7378

go to top